Today’s restaurants are staying competitive by offering food delivery services.
For a long time now, pizza delivery has been synonymous with a pizza shop. Not having a delivery service is bad for business, and having a poor delivery system is worse. With 42% of restaurant-goers saying that the option to order online would make them choose one restaurant over another, it’s imperative to not just offer delivery but to have a modern and efficient service. According to the Nation’s Restaurant News, 80% of publicly-traded restaurants are testing out delivery options; excluding the number of pizzerias that already deliver. Don’t get left behind.
Today, we discuss the different ways you can optimize your pizza delivery service. These helpful practices will not just improve the overall customer experience, but minimize the aches and pains that go along with overseeing a delivery service.
Have the Right POS System for Pizzerias
The speed and functionality of modern point-of-sale systems make them essential tools for any restaurant operating a delivery service. The ideal POS system helps to take down orders and send them to the kitchen within seconds. With a POS, you can keep also keep track of inventory levels to make enough ingredients are on hand, and even notify the drivers.
Set Up a Delivery Work Station
With your POS in place, set up a dedicated work station to manage delivery orders. Set up one (or more) telephones to receive calls, a pad of paper for notes, and the mobile POS stand.
Tuck the order-taking space away from dine-in guests. This allows your employees to work in quiet and hear what the customer orders, while diners inside aren’t disturbed by the phone ringing and ensuing conversations. This also gives a better experience to the person calling; he or she doesn’t need to repeat what is said again and again.
Set Clear Delivery Times
You can lose business by giving inaccurate delivery times. Set clear expectations, and be firm with your staff about meeting (and hopefully) exceeding them. For a great pizza, customers will wait long periods of time to get it delivered. But they must know what to expect. Even if takes 45 minutes to make and deliver a pizza, tell your customers and they will wait.
If you’re not sure how to set the right delivery time, run a few practice deliveries at different times of day, like during off-peak hours, busy periods, and rush hour. During these practice runs, your staff should be working at top speed. Then, time the delivery from the moment an order is entered to the point of delivery at a customer’s address.
Your staff cannot operate at high speeds consistently, but now you know what they are capable of, and which problem areas can be fixed. Once your delivery time is determined, push and encourage your staff to operate like a well-oiled machine to be consistent.
Manage Your Drivers
Oftentimes, the delivery drivers are neglected. Do the opposite and give your team of delivery drivers the attention and resources they need.
Buy a Fleet of Delivery Cars
While it’s possible to ask drivers to use their personally-owned vehicles, you’re recommended to only do so if that’s your only option financially. When restaurants hire drivers with their own cars, a non-own auto insurance is required, which is expensive and offers poor coverage. In the event of an accident, your pizza shop could be responsible for massive payments.
If possible, buy a fleet of delivery cars with great commercial driving insurance and liability coverage. In the long run, this pays off. Plus, it’s a great advertising opportunity. Personalize your delivery vehicles to reinforce your pizzeria’s brand image, complete with your logo and phone number.
The final impressive touch: Keep your cars shiny and clean!
Train Your Drivers for Speed and Safety
Help your drivers deliver pizzas as fast as possible with useful traffic information, such as, which roads to avoid during rush hour. Vehicles should also be equipped with a top-notch GPS system that sends alerts of upcoming traffic. Take care to emphasize that driving quickly doesn’t mean being unsafe. Train your drivers to be smart about their speeds.
Their safety coming and going from addresses is also a point to consider. Your drivers should always have a working mobile phone on them in case of an emergency and avoid carrying more than $100 to deter thieves.
When making a drop-off, delivery drivers should never enter a home or hotel room. Instead, instruct drivers to park their car with the headlights pinned towards the front door, or to remain in the hotel lobby until the customer comes.
Train Drivers to Give Great Customer Service
Your pizza-delivery drivers are just like your serving staff; they are in front of the customer representing your business. Go over the basics of giving great customer service with your delivery team. In this case, how to greet customers, accept payment, and thank them for their business. Presentation is also important, so decide on a dress code or make uniforms for your team.
Check Twice, Cut Once
Check twice, cut once! This popular delivery mantra is known by all pizza operators.
Create a system to double-check orders: Right before the order is given to the driver, make one person responsible for checking that all items are there, including that it’s the correct pizza order, drinks, dessert, and side orders. Once your driver is out the door, it’s too late to turn back.
Invest in On-Trend and Functional Packaging
Don’t forget: The customer experience continues after shutting the door. Whether your brand is trendy or traditional, invest in great pizza packaging. At the very least, the pizza box should have ventilation holes and be able to support the weight of a pizza without bending.
Use Your POS System to Improve
Speed and functionality are great reasons to get a mobile point-of-sale system, but the real benefit of having a modern POS is the amount of data it captures. Use the metrics provided by your POS to improve your operations, and ask questions to make improvements.
For instance, is there a certain menu item that keeps selling out? Use the sales and inventory metrics to adjust purchase orders so you always have the right ingredients in stock. Do you have an exceptionally fast driver? Ask your employee what his or her secret is and share it with the delivery team.
Use your POS metrics to fine tune your delivery operations, and you will constantly be improving your services.
Advertising tells your community that you have a pizza delivery service and the reasons why they should order from you. Keep your language concise, and display your phone number prominently.
Here are some examples of pizza delivery service advertising:
- Wrap your fleet of cars with your name, logo, and number.
- Offer delivery coupons to dine-in customers.
- Mail out coupons to nearby ZIP codes.
Use these suggestions to optimize your pizza delivery service, improve your revenue, and build a loyal customer base.
Don’t forget to use your social media accounts! Become a master at social media with these tricks.